2012 Election Voter Guide
Last week’s installment of the 2012 Election Voter Guide featured two out of 16 opposing candidates for state senator. This week’s guide features six state senate candidates, running for districts 10, 17 and 21. Next week’s installment will include the remaining candidates for state senator.
Incumbent Sen. John Christopher Ryan (R-10)
Republican candidate for state Senate, district 10
Ryan does not have a public Facebook page or a campaign website
1020 Salamanca St. N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87107, (505) 343-1400
Ryan has served as state senator since 2005 and is currently on the following committees: Courts, Corrections and Justice, Indian Affairs , Tobacco Settlement Revenue Oversight, Water and Natural Resources, Investments and Pensions Oversight, Legislative Health and Human Services, Legislative Finance , Conservation, Judiciary
Of the 88 bills Ryan has sponsored or co-sponsored, 16 passed. One bill he sponsored in 2010, “Encourage Bicycle Riding and ‘Complete Streets,’” responded to health and environmental issues in the state. According to its final wording, more than half of New Mexicans were overweight and about 80 percent of the state’s population owned registered vehicles.
To encourage New Mexicans to improve their health and transport themselves in an environmentally responsible way, the legislation proposed participating in “Complete Streets,” a national movement dedicated to ensuring that transportation planners and engineers consistently design and operate roadways with all users, including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders and pedestrians of all ages and abilities, in mind.
View the final wording at ow.ly/ehavy
In August 2011, Sen. Ryan showed his support for the high-wage tax credit that Gov. Susana Martinez added to the September 2011 special legislative session agenda. The high-wage tax credit came into effect in 2004 and allowed employers to claim a tax exemption according to the wages and benefits of their high-wage employees.
The language needed to be clarified, as the IRS discovered a loophole in 2010 that excluded some employee benefits from the calculation, according to the press release Martinez’s office released on the matter.
“We simply cannot afford to lose the high-wage tax credit as we know it. Companies like Hewlett Packard rely on this tool to provide permanent, well-paying jobs to New Mexicans,” Ryan said. “We must make sure that it remains in place so these companies have the stability they need to thrive.”
View the press release at ow.ly/eh9cL
Another piece he sponsored that passed was “Albuquerque Public Schools Audit,” introduced in the 2007 legislative session. The final wording indicates that APS hired four superintendents between 1997 and 2007, all receiving more than $100,000 in salaries plus benefits. However, the district did not report an increase in administration subfund expenditures, the designated funding source for the new superintendents.
The legislation called for an audit to make sure APS was reporting its costs in the right categories, and to see how much of the district’s budget went to support services functions such as general administration and operation and maintenance.
View the final wording at ow.ly/ehabW
View Ryan’s voting record at ow.ly/ei0HX
According to FollowTheMoney.org, Ryan’s top campaign contributor, Molina Healthcare, contributed $2,000, which is 4.5 percent of his total campaign contributions. Tom Wray, an Arizona-based energy developer, contributed $1,500, which is 3.38 percent of the total contributions, and Health Care Service Corp contributed $1,400, which is 3.15 percent of the total contributions. Reynolds American Inc. and the New Mexico Medical Society each contributed $1,250, 2.81 percent of the contributions.
Former Sen. Joseph Carraro (R-23)
Independent candidate for state Senate, district 10
10216 Carraro Place N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87114 , (505) 898-9369
Carraro served as a state senator from 1985 to 1988 and from 1993 to 2008. From 1996 to 2008, Carraro sponsored or co-sponsored 299 pieces of legislation, 12 of which passed. NMLegis.gov lists only the legislation he sponsored since 1996.
One piece he sponsored in 2005 that passed was “Iraq Oil Production and War Costs.” The final wording, which was to be sent to then-President Bush, asked that Bush “request the Iraqi parliament to increase oil production in the country of Iraq and to use the revenue generated to reimburse the United States for costs associated with the war.”
It cites as justification that the war in Iraq was, at the time, the most expensive military effort in the past 60 years and cost about $5.6 billion per month. It also states that at that point, the United States had spent $2 billion rebuilding Iraq’s oil industry.
View the final wording at ow.ly/ehb7g
In 1999, Carraro sponsored “New Mexico and Venezuela Country Compact,” which invited Venezuela to enter a compact of “shared endeavors” and to “create closer ties” between New Mexico and Venezuela. The final wording cites mutual interest between the two governments, including agriculture, economics, energy and social policy, and similar interests with their oil and gas industries.
Because of these ties, it states that shared technologies would be mutually beneficial.
As the legislation indicates, Carraro was a member of the executive committee for the National Energy Council at the time.
Along with then-chairperson for the NEC Manny Aragon, Carraro developed a close working relationship with the Venezuelan government through the NEC.
View the final wording at ow.ly/ehcxO
View Carraro’s voting record at ow.ly/ehYsY
FollowTheMoney.org does not list Carraro’s campaign contributions for this election cycle. The New Mexico Secretary of State keeps an online database of spending reports, and Carraro’s most recent report, filed Sept. 9, shows his top contributors are Juan Valdez of Albuquerque and Bonnie Baxley-Valdez of Albuquerque, each accounting for $2,300, or 43 percent, of his total contributions.
His third highest contributor is himself, as he funded 6 percent of the total campaign contributions, followed by Tony Olmi of Albuquerque at 5 percent, Jesus Anzures of Albuquerque at 2 percent, and Mary Sadowski of Albuquerque at less than 1 percent.
Incumbent Sen. Timothy Keller
Democratic candidate for state Senate, district 17
11023 Vistazo Place S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87123, (505) 332-9441,
Keller has served as state senator since 2009 and is currently on the following committees: Science, Technology and Telecommunications , Investments and Pensions Oversight, Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy, Military and Veterans’ Affairs, Economic and Rural Development, Legislative Finance, Corporations and Transportation, Education, Committees’ Committee
Of the 119 bills Keller has sponsored or co-sponsored during his term, 19 passed.
One of the bills he sponsored in 2011 that passed was the “Film Production Tax Credit.” This allowed film companies to receive a 25 percent tax credit on applicable production expenses, with a few exceptions.
View the final wording at ow.ly/eiadE
In 2009, Keller sponsored legislation that requests a team be appointed to discover renewable energy zones in the state. The team would recommend zones that “have potential to support industry development among renewable energy developers,” and find “the best viable options for potential transmissions corridors” so the renewable energy can be exported from New Mexico, according to the final wording.
View the final wording at ow.ly/elsX3
Keller sponsored an act that officially recognized the International District as such, rather than “the war zone.” The act was in response to input from “hundreds of residents, business operators and local officials” who unanimously decided to create awareness of and leverage the area’s positive image.
View the final wording at ow.ly/eib3o
View Keller’s voting record at ow.ly/elwet
According to FollowTheMoney.org, Keller’s top campaign contributors are Susan Steinhauser and Dan Greenburg, both from Santa Fe and each having contributed $7,300 and 5.49 percent of his total contributions. His third-largest contributors are Fiona and Scott Keller of Albuquerque and the New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association, each having contributed $5,000 and 3.76 percent of his total contributions. The Committee to Elect Peter Wirth, the Democratic senator for District 25, follows with $2,800 and 2.11 percent.
Former Sen. Shannon Robinson (D-17)
Republican candidate for state Senate, district 17
Facebook.com/ShannonRobinson2012, Robinson does not have a campaign website.,
716 Indiana St. S.E., Albuquerque, NM 87108, (505) 262-0815
Robinson served as state senator from 1989 to 2008. During his term, he sponsored 364 bills, 38 of which passed. NMLegis.gov only lists the bills he sponsored since 1996.
In 2007, Robinson sponsored the “Compassionate Use Act,” which passed. This would “allow the beneficial use of medical cannabis in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments,” according to the final wording.
View the final wording at ow.ly/elucV
In 2003, Robinson sponsored the “Concealed Handgun Act,” which passed. The act makes it legal to carry a concealed handgun, according to specifications listed in the final wording.
View the final wording at ow.ly/eluZY
In 2008, Robinson voted in favor of establishing a formal Health Care and Policy Commission, responsible for developing “a plan to provide accessible and affordable health care for all New Mexicans,” according to VoteSmart.org. The bill did not pass.
View Robinson’s voting record at ow.ly/elwqM
According to FollowTheMoney.org, Robinson’s top campaign contributor is Jalapeño Corp., accounting for $2,000, or 31.5 percent of his total campaign contributions. His second largest contributor is physician Allen Hurt with $1,000, 15.75 percent, followed by Robinson himself with $800 at 12.6 percent, and candidate Stuart Ingle and Western Refining each with $500 at 7.87 percent.
Incumbent Sen. Lisa Curtis (D-21)
Democratic candidate for state Senate, district 21
301 Gold Ave. S.W. Ste. 201, Albuquerque, NM 87102, (505) 243-1706
Curtis has served as state senator since the beginning of this year, and is currently on the following committees:
Courts, Corrections and Justice
Of the seven bills Curtis has sponsored or co-sponsored during her term, one passed.
On her website, Curtis lists the economy as her first priority, citing the need for high-paying jobs as a way out of a long history of poverty in the state. In the past, the state has given tax breaks to corporations coming into New Mexico, but Curtis said it was a mistake to not stipulate that they bring in high-paying jobs or otherwise benefit the state.
“Bringing in corporations that put our small businesses out of business because we give them a 7.5 percent tax break, but our NM companies pay that 7.5 percent, is not only stupid but it’s unfair,” she said. “Bringing in low-paying minimum wage jobs with no benefits is largely a drain on the state’s resources.”
Her website gives her stances on other issues, such as women’s health, the Affordable Care Act and education.
Near the end of September, Curtis was criticized for planning to give the La Cueva High School boys’ soccer team $500 to go door-to-door passing out her campaign fliers in District 21, according to an Albuquerque Journal article published Sept. 18. The article cites an APS spokesperson who said the district investigated the incident and confirmed that about 50 players were required to distribute the material as a community service. The head coach received disciplinary action for the incident. In the article, Curtis is quoted in response, saying, “It makes me really upset that people look at this as something negative. What is the point if I can’t help a school in my district?”
View the full article at ow.ly/ejNoG
Curtis posted an explanation of the incident on her website, which can be viewed at ow.ly/ejTnb..
According to VoteSmart.org, Curtis cast two votes during her term, one in favor of the bill “Restricting Driver’s Licenses for Foreign Nationals” and the other in favor of the bill “Changes Corporate Income Tax Rates and Filing Requirements.” The driver’s license bill did not pass, and the corporate income tax bill was vetoed.
View Curtis’ voting record at ow.ly/elwMf
According to FollowTheMoney.org, Curtis is the top contributor for her campaign, accounting for $22,505, or 50.06 percent of her total campaign contributions. Her second largest contributor is attorney partner Denise Torres with $2,300 at 5.12 percent, attorney Sam Fadduolat also with $2,300 and 5.12 percent, the Committee to Elect Peter Wirth with $1.500 at 3.34 percent and business consultant Steven Peterschmidt with $1,100 at 2.45 percent.
Republican candidate for state Senate, district 21
9641 Seligman Ave. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87109
Moores has no previous experience serving in the State Legislature. According to his website, he worked for former Congressman Steve Schiff before serving as chief of staff for former Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley. According to his website he is the executive director of the New Mexico Dental Association, an organization that coordinates the New Mexico Mission of Mercy.
This is the largest charitable event in the state, and provided 2,201 people with $1.3 million of free dental care in two days.
As listed on his website, Moores’ priorities are to end corruption in the Legislature, end social promotion in schools, stop providing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, require voters to present a photo ID when they cast their ballot, cut through bureaucracy and taxes that hinder economic development and job growth and reduce government spending.
In September, the Association of Commerce and Industry in New Mexico endorsed Moores as the “Pro-Jobs” candidate for District 21. The ACI is a statewide, legislative advocate of business interests, according to its website, and has endorsed other legislators such as former state Sen. Kent Cravens (R-21), Rep. Larry Larranaga (R-27), and Sen. Sander Rue (R-23).
According to FollowTheMoney.org, Moores funded $8,954, or 12.01 percent, of his campaign, which made him his own top contributor.
The second largest individual contribution comes from the New Mexico Medical Society and the New Mexico Dental Association, each with $3,000 and 4.02 percent, followed by incumbent Sen. William Payne with $2,300 at 3.09 percent and AlphaGraphics with $2,257 at 3.03 percent.